Each of the following self-improvement tips, tricks, and topics can be adjusted to relate to your life, who you are as a person, and the type of self-improvement you seek. For you to successfully find motivation and live your life to its fullest potential, however, the underlying meaning and message of each topic cannot be manipulated.
1. Take Responsibility for YouLook at yourself. Reflect on who you are.
- What kind of things do you enjoy doing?
- What kind of food do you eat?
- What kind of people do you spend your time with?
- What life decisions have you made?
- Did you make those decisions quickly or did you hesitate, talk it over with half a dozen people, think more, and then decide what to do?
The important thing is to take responsibility for those decisions you make, regardless of who they affect. You are as important as all other human beings, and you deserve the same respect and honesty as anyone else.
Whatever decisions you make are a result of what you did to get to that particular decision point. Therefore, when you find yourself in a situation that either wouldn’t make your parents proud, or one that isn’t ideal, own up to your mistakes and take responsibility for them. Once you accept responsibility, a huge weight will be taken off of your shoulders. Blaming the world and everyone but yourself for your problems will never solve your issues. By taking the blame and responsibility for your actions, you will learn to create unconditional love for yourself and become a better version of who you are in your journey of personal development.
2. Be Present in Every MomentWhether you’re spending the day with your family, volunteering at a local charity event, bussing tables at a nearby restaurant, or sitting at your desk making sales calls, be there completely. You were put on this planet to connect with and share your talents with those around you. By not being present, you are not sharing your gift.
Anytime you notice that you are distracted with other thoughts during an activity—your to-do list, your phone, the next event on your schedule—encourage your attention back to the moment you are in. This can go for anytime you find your mind is wandering or anytime your attention has drifted outside of the present moment.
3. Teach Your BrainYour brain is what controls everything you do. Whether it is consciously or subconsciously, your brain has the wheel. When you negatively judge yourself (or someone else) about the way you look, you don’t think you’re capable of accomplishing a goal, or you don’t think you are pretty, skinny, or good enough for your dream guy or girl, it’s your brain talking.
Cut the negative self-talk out of your life! Flip the negative, judging, mean, and pessimistic switch off. Turn positivity and optimism on.
Just like you taught your brain to read in elementary school, drive in high school, cram for a test in college, and to deal with the stresses of everyday life, you are capable of teaching your brain to think positively about yourself and others. If you repeat an activity, a recipe, or a song enough times, you will memorize it and it will become part of your memory. That same repetition is needed to change your bad habits and improve your self-talk.
Whatever it is that you put yourself down about, reverse it and repeat the positive thought to yourself. Over and over. Repeatedly tell yourself that you are beautiful and that you deserve the guy (or gal) of your dreams. Repeatedly tell yourself that you are capable of accomplishing a challenging goal. Over and over. Don’t give yourself any slack. You deserve the world and the world deserves you at your full potential. Don’t strive for anything less than success and, of course, the best version of you.
4. ForgiveHolding on to problems, arguments, and mistakes of the past keep you from thriving and becoming the best version of yourself, not to mention creating poor mental health. The moment you forgive and let the negativity go, you are free. You may not be free immediately, but you are one step closer to personal growth and happiness. You won’t have to endure that pain any longer. Without this pain, you are able to invest your time and energy into the positive aspects of your life (your success) and become the best, genuine version of yourself you can be.
5. Take a ChanceEven though life can be scary or intimidating, you must stop being fearful and just go for it. Either it will work or it won’t. You might be surprised by the result. If you decide to never apply to your dream job, never make an offer on your dream house, never book a flight to a dream vacation, or never ask your dream girl (or guy) out, you will never know what could be.
There is a reason friends and family are in your life. When things don’t work out how you hope, they are there to catch, support, and then push you out of your comfort zone to your next level of fear-conquering decisions. When you take the chance of fear over your comfort zone, you are on the road to becoming the best version of yourself.
6. Be HonestBeing honest with yourself and others will get you much further than by cheating and lying your way through life. Even if you are the only one who knows you lied, you have to live with your lies. Your life would be easier if you were honest from the start. This topic ties in closely with that on taking responsibility for yourself.
Set honest goals. Don’t be unrealistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Start small and build yourself up. Work a little harder each and every day, and you will learn over time that you are capable of being honest with yourself.
7. PrioritizeChoose people, activities, and things that make you happy. Get rid of the rest.
Nothing is a greater waste of time than spending time with people or on things that make you miserable. Life is too short to get caught up in drama, poor decisions, and unhappy days. Your time is important and it is essential that you delegate it effectively. Be sure to give yourself some “me time.” That may mean:
- Sleeping in an extra hour
- Practicing yoga
- Waking up early and meditating
- Drinking coffee while watching the morning news
When you realize you aren’t happy doing something, or that you deserve a better use of your time, ditch whatever is making you feel that way. Stop wasting your time and start living your life to the fullest.
8. Say “Yes” to LifeWhen you’re faced with an amazing opportunity, go for it! If you’re a morning person, stop waiting around for your best friend who likes to sleep in and go to the gym for the 5:00 a.m. spin class. Or if you’re a night person, stop choosing to go to concerts with your friends who fall asleep at 8:00 p.m. Stop waiting around for other people to say, “Yes,” to life with you, and start living your own. Once you decide to choose life, you will become the YOU who you are meant to be. Be awesome and get excited to create the next chapter of your life story!
9. Have BalanceJust like everything in life, take all things in moderation. If you kicked butt at a killer workout class and feel like you deserve to splurge, go ahead and treat yourself! If you worked a long day in the office, go home and spend time with your family and enjoy non–work-related activities. Don’t become too absorbed and invest all of your time into one thing. Over time, you will miss out on having a balance, and may lose relationships and connections with people. Keep in touch with those you love and spend quality time (be present) with them.
10. Be Thankful for This Amazing LifeTake a look around you. Are you sitting in a coffee shop, scrolling through this article? Or are you at your kitchen table? Or lying in bed? Wherever you are at this exact second is a good place to be. Life is so amazing and we as humans are lucky to get to be a part of it. Feel gratitude, express it, and be thankful for each day you are given.
11. Love YourselfThe journey to becoming the best version of yourself may involve some touchy subjects, and you may have to overcome some bad habits that you’d rather leave swept under the rug. Along the way, practice self-compassion and self-love for who you are—warts and all. As Dr. Seuss wisely said, “There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” And what makes you YOU, involves all of the pros, as well as the challenges.
Stop struggling with who you are and what you’ve become, and love yourself just as you are. This kind of self-love will only support your process of becoming the best version of yourself.
Understand your deepest level of being with the Get to Know Yourself program with Deepak Chopra, M.D., available now in the Chopra App.